Bronze Boot closes in Grand ForksA legendary Grand Forks eatery and bar has closed. The only question is will the Bronze Boot Steakhouse and Lounge re-open. The Bronze Boot closed its doors Tuesday afternoon after issues with leaking from its ceiling, according to Don Shields, director of the Grand Forks Public Health Department.
A legendary Grand Forks eatery and bar has closed.
The only question is will the Bronze Boot Steakhouse and Lounge re-open.
The Bronze Boot closed its doors Tuesday afternoon after issues with leaking from its ceiling, according to Don Shields, director of the Grand Forks Public Health Department.
Shields said his office received a complaint on Monday, from a customer who said water was leaking into the dining room at the restaurant, which opened in 1954 at 1804 N. Washington St.
On Wednesday, Shields and inspectors went to the restaurant to find plastic sheets keeping water from dripping from the ceiling. There was water dripping down in the kitchen, dining room, bathroom and bar, he said.
“Some of the water was stagnant,” he said. The water problem presented a host of health issues, he said, from E. coli to the possibility of Legionnaires’ disease developing.
Shields and inspectors met with restaurant owner Terry Fonder at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
“We explained what our health issues were and that it needed to be repaired before they were serving food,” he said.
There hadn’t been any major concern during previous inspections of the Bronze Boot, he said, only mentioning an earlier small water leak into a bucket.
But there was likely enough of an issue Tuesday that Shields said he would have ordered a shutdown if Fonder hadn’t voluntarily closed the doors.
“Clearly there were enough health concerns if he wouldn’t have shut down we would have gone back and considered a mandatory shutdown,” he said.
Shields said by 4 p.m. Wednesday the restaurant had “closed” signs on its doors.
Fonder did not return a call to the Herald and Shields said Fonder didn’t say whether he had plans to re-open.
At this point, he said, the restaurant is closed for repairs, but he is hoping Fonder makes the necessary alterations and gets back to business.
“I certainly hope he does,” Shields said. “It’s a long-term Grand Forks institution. The steaks are great.”
The restaurant has forged a reputation for serving quality steaks and is easily recognizable from the neon sign in the shape of a boot.
Terry Fonder’s father Darcy Fonder owned the restaurant from 1960 to 2007, when he died.
Bieri is a Herald staff reporter. Reach him at (701) 780-1118; (800) 477-6572, ext. 118; or send email to email@example.com.